Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014: A Year In Review

Well, it's that time of the year again. Time to look back and reflect on highlights of the year, then realize the hopelessness of New Years Resolutions, and finally make hollow promises for the following year.

Well, what can I say about 2014? Well it was a quiet one on the blog, with my lowest post count for a full year. Why's that? Well, a combination of a much more active toddler, the reintroduction of a good computer in the household (finally able to finish Fallout New Vegas!), X-Wing, and some other life-things have come together to form a pretty epic hobby slump. So, without much being built on the hobby bench, there's not a lot for me to report here. I have, however, been building a lot of terrain, but more on that in the New Year!

So what did I get done this year? Let's have a look...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

TCOW Fury!

I haven't seen Fury yet, but I am positive it didn't have much in the similarity with the Flames Of War game I just played last weekend where I ineptly led 15 tanks and one jeep in to the light and cruely allowed one survivor jeep to deal with the fallout...

It was club day at TCOW last weekend and there was a lot happin'n! Warmachine, Flames of War, Drop Zone Commander, Kings of War, and Saga all made it to the tabletop. I brought a 1600-point late-war list of US tanks from Remagen and my Saga Vikings and Normans.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Highway to the Reich: The Dramatic TCOW FS:MG Finale!

It’s the 70th anniversary for Market Garden this year and the gents at TCOW (that club out west) have been celebrating it with a Firestorm: Market Garden Campaign over the past few months. They have been building up for the final battle, carefully planning and waging a merciless war. The stage is now set and the guys extended an open invitation to all FlamesCon goers to stop in and lend a hand toward final victory!

On Saturday night we ran a Market Garden huge multi-player battle to mark the dramatic conclusion of the TCOW Firestorm: Market Garden Campaign. The game was a mega-battle format with several tables lined up to make one large table. Players took charge of an army and played for the cause they joined.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Highway to the Imminent Peril Zone!

With TCOW's Market Garden event at FlamesCon, I needed over 30' of highway for the five tables I intended on using.... And I needed it in less than a week's time.

Imminent Peril!

So I got with Patrick and we came up with a plan. Pat had recently purchased a road set from Toshach Miniatures, which is a printable PDF version. I had some cork flooring tiles kicking around and I put two and two together.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Strelkovy, Strelkovy Not...

I had originally planned for this article to get posted up prior to FlamesCon, but failed to set it's upload time correctly! Apparently it was set to go live in a month's time. Oh well! Better late than never!

It's that time of year again: FlamesCon 2014!

So, this year, I'm taking it easy and am going to play in the one-day Early War tournament, in keeping with my EW kick lately. I enjoyed playing my Mittlere Panzers and my Panhards recently, but this time around, I want to try something completely different: Strelkovy (from Rising Sun, page 67).

Monday, October 20, 2014

FlamesCon 2014: An AAR

Last weekend was FlamesCon, the big Auckland Flames Of War event hosted by Battlefront. We ran several events:

  • Late-war Grand Tournament (both days)
  • Late-War One-day Tournament (Saturday)
  • Late-War One-day Tournament (Sunday)
  • Early-War One-day Tournament (Saturday)
  • Mid-War One-day Tournament (Sunday)
  • Dust: Battlefield One-day Tournament (Sunday)

We also had a couple of After Hours events: Flames in the Sky (Phil's airplane game) and a Market Garden megabattle (TCOW's Firestorm campaign finale).

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tough 'Ombres

Well, I'm officially going to bug out of my New Year's resolution to get through all of the Citizen Soldiers briefings within the year. I'm still keen on it, so I'll get them posted as I arrange and play the games as I can squeeze them in, it's just not going to happen before year's end. Oh well!

I had intended to post the games in historical order, but with the demise of all hope on the Resolution front, I want to post up this game that Steve MacLauchlan and I played waaaay back in January. So, here's a little past battlereport about a past battle in Normandy, over 70 years ago!

The game is set in Normandy on D+1. The 4th Infantry has made the assault and the 90th Infantry Division has taken over the offensive from the Ivy men, keen to test their mettle. The story of the "Tough 'Ombres" in Normandy is one of disappointment and debate, but I wanted to field these troops for myself and see how they perform on the Flames Of War battlefield.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Panhards Ride Again!

Continuing on with my decent into Early War, Patrick and I had a game a few nights back. He was keen to try out his Waffen-SS, and I wanted to get a game in with my French (the bench-warmer list I brought to Wayne-Con in case there were too many Axis).

To set the scene, Pat brought out a fantastic bottle of Belgian beer (Duvel) and we split it and started rolling dice!

Patrick's SS included an HQ (led by Panzer Meyer hisself!), three infantry platoons, a pair of HMGs (combat attached), a mortar platoon, a pair of 88s, and two 8-rads.

I had an HQ Panhard, a platoon of 5x Panhards, two platoons of 4x Panhards, a Fuciler Portes platoon, a platoon of 5x Somua S-35 tanks, and a battery of 75mm mle 1897. I also had 25pts of Air Interception, but that was more for the tournament and I couldn't be bothered trying to revamp the list.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Last weekend we played a little tournament run by our esteemed Sir Wayne Turner (title pending). To give you a bit of background, Wayne had just finished putting the last little bits into the upcoming Barbarossa book, when he he mentioned that he'd like to play more Early War games. Several of us in the studio agreed, so Wayne set a date for a staff 1500-point tournament and then we got on with the important task of writing lists.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Revenge of 30 Corps! (TCOW FS-MG Turn 3)

Last weekend we ripped through another turn of Firestorm: Market Garden out at TCOW (which incidentally now has a shiny new blog!).

To round out Turn 2 and kick off Turn 3, Andrew and Greg executed their orders. Allied supplies were flown in and German reinforcements poured in from Amsterdam and Wesel. Tactical air support was sent by both sides to Arnhem.

This week we rolled up 10 games, so there was a lot of action on the battlefield!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Firestorm: Market Garden - Turn 2!

Last weekend we played turn two of the TCOW Market Garden Firestorm campaign. At the end of the first turn, the Allies made some exploitation moves that won them some good ground for turn two. Andrew dropped a few more paratroopers and glidermen, including the Polish Parachute Brigade at Driel south of Arnhem and US 101st paratroopers north of Eindhoven. Arnhem town and the Elst road were captured on either side of the Arnhem bridge. Further south, some of the side roads were secured by US paratroopers.

Meanwhile, a strong showing of German Firestorm troops arrived to reinforce the Axis forces, notably heavy tanks and more 88 flak guns. British Typhoons successfully interdicted the Panzer Brigade 107, and they were delayed this turn. Still, Greg was able to use his troops to capture the Goesbeek Heights with exploitation moves and get a lot of troops forward to deal with the unfolding Allied assault.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Bridge Too Far: A TCOW Campaign

Turn 1 is upon us! We're playing through Firestorm: Market Garden at TCOW over the next few weeks, and here's the result of the first turn!

This week, we had five games lined up. The Allied strategy was focused on breaking out at the bridgehead and making a move into Holland from the border. A couple of Allied generals dropped behind enemy lines, but a good number of German spoiler attacks hit the British ground forces hard.

Andrew commands the Allied forces and executes his parachute jump, including some exploitation moves to seize critical roads, bridges, and towns. Greg commands the Axis and orders a general defense along the border.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Battle for the Belgian Canals

This last weekend we ran an intro Firestorm game based on the battle for the Belgian canals, which happened the week before Operation Market Garden. In that battle, the Allies had to gain some footholds over the canals in order to let loose 30 Corps across Holland.

Two canals ran across the Allied attack route: the Albert Canal, which connects Brussels and Maastricht. The second, the Meuse-Escaut Canal, runs along the Belgian-Dutch border. These needed to be secured as quickly as possible to guarantee a good footing for Montgomery's Operation Market Garden.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Going West(falen)

After Panzerschreck XIV last weekend, I thought I would have a bit of a debrief about using SS-Panzerbrigade Westfalen from Bridge at Remagen.

Before I begin with my dissection of what did and did not work with my list, I'd like to direct you to Eric Riha's excellent theoretical analysis of the army on WWPD. His thoughts are a great place to get ideas on how to get things to work together.

Also, please have a read of Sean Ireland's article, To the Bitter End, as well for even more great tips and tactics for Westfalen.

I'd also like to straight away say that my recent experiences with this list are unique, which took place in an unusual setting. Bear in mind that this was a doubles event and this list was built to synergize with Andrew's Reluctant Trained Tiger IIs and PaK40s, things that are not inherently available to Westfalen in the book. So what worked for us may not yield the same results elsewhere. Like-wise I'll try and stick with tactics that work under normal gameplay situations.

With that in mind, let's head west!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Panzerschreck 2014

Hey all!

I've just got back from a weekend of gaming at Panzerschreck XIV (14), which is, in my opinion, one of the best Flames of War events in the country. It's put on every year by the fine gentlemen of the Manawatu Duellists Society in Palmerston North, New Zealand. It's great to meet up with old friends, meet new ones, and roll a lot of dice for two days. It's a doubles/team tournament, 1000 points per player with up to 100 points shared between them. You can see Andrew's and my list here. In the next few days I hope to have a showcase of the Panzerschreck armies and bit of an article about how Westfalen works (or doesn't), but for now, here's my event report.

Friday, July 11, 2014

On the Road to Panzerschreck!

We're on our way to Panzerschreck 2014! Its a doubles event, and I've paired up with my brother to deliver Bridge At Remagen awesomeness to the tabletop.

I'll be running a group of tricksy Westfalen nutjobs and Andrew is bringing super-cheap Tiger IIs. Should be interesting games ahead of us, considering we got zero practice games in!

Here's what we're taking down with us:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blog Catch-Up!

Well it's been some time since my last update, so I thought I'd post up what's been happening around my hobby space.

I've got a grab-bag of topics here, including an X-Wing update, some painting news, an upcoming Flames of War tournament, and more. Each of these deserves an article of it's own, but with my time being pulled in a hundred different ways, this might be the only chance I've got to get it all down!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

D+25567: Citizen Soldiers in France

Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. It seemed proper to mark the historic event with a Flames Of War battle report featuring the Big Red One on Omaha Beach.

This battle also marks the first in my series of Citizen Soldier games. After several months of preparation, I was ready to hit the beach and I chose 6 June 2014 as the launch date for my article series.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Bloody Liri - A WWPD Italy Campaign AAR

Pat and I played another game over the long weekend. We both liked our lists from last week, and we were still learning how to use them, do we decided to rematch them. After settling on the Liri Valley as our battleground in the WWPD Italy Campaign, we set up out table.

Our mission was randomly determined to be No Retreat. Like last time, Pat elected to try a Night Attack, putting me on the defensive again. I was quite happy with that because I could use some practice with my defensive tactics.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

'Murican Tank Riders

Part of my New Years resolution is to get a lot of painting done to support the games I intend to play. For the 35ID game I'll be using Tank Riders, which means I need a way to show them on the tanks.

In the complicated hedgerow country of Normandy, traffic was notoriously bad and the going incredibly slow. To keep up and reduce traffic on the roads, some US infantry regiments used their tanks as transports. This increased the survival for both the infantry and tanks as they crashed through the bocage.

Some divisions, such as the 35th, took this to heart and actually incorporated tank-riding tactics into their training. The 83rd did the same on the rush across and beyond the Rhine. In fact many of Patton's infantry divisions did, which is somewhat unsurprising considering the Third Army commander's aggressive posture.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Liri Valley: A WWPD Italy AAR

Pat and I lined up our first game for the WWPD Italy Campaign. I'm working on a Panzer IV army from the 26. Panzerdivision, but I'm pretty far from putting them into the field. I decided to field trucked Panzergrenadier company from the 90. Panzergrenadier Division instead from Fortress Italy. 

Pat's been working on a Kiwi Rifle Company from Road to Rome, but like me, he's a ways out from being ready. Luckily I could cover him mostly with my Italian-theatre Canucks.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

WWPD4Vets 2014!

This past weekend was the second annual WWPD4Vets charity gaming event. It's a great time for a good cause. Organised by Dirty Jon over at WWPD.net, there are groups contributing to their local Veterans associations worldwide.

I can't believe its been a  year since our last WWPD4Vets event! I was a bit behind the ball last year with organizing it all for the Auckland division, but this year I was lucky to be able to team up with Dan Linder and his league of esteemed gentlemen at T.C.O.W.  (That Club Out West). We also got some terrific support from Battlefront and David Grieg over at MightyApe.co.nz, who runs the business' hobby division (he's got a great hobby blog found here...). Thanks to this support we were able to assemble a silent auction with the proceeds going to the RSA.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Citizen Soldiers Painting Update

It's been a while since my last post. I've been busy painting away and finding time to blog it up has been a bit difficult with everything else going on! Anyway, enough excuses. Here's what I've been up to! 

I've been trying to break the painting queue for my Citizen Soldiers resolution. I'd really like to post these games in historically chronological order, so I've got to try and get the 1st Infantry Division stuff done first. There is a lot to paint, and a good portion of it is at the start of the project for the 1ID. I'm still not ready to hit the beaches just yet, but I've got a lot of it ready in the last few weeks.
I'm really getting jazzed about this particular game. It's got all sort of interesting stuff in it, like DD tanks, amphibious assault boats, assault platoons, and NGFS. My brother Andrew is going to play the Germans and he's going to field a coulple of historically based Wiederstandneste. I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, February 28, 2014

MacLauchlanov - vs - Von Haught: An AAR

With all of the Late War excitement happening, Steve and I were feeling a bit old-school and decided to throw down an Early War game. Our theme was loosely defined as "A Barbarossa-ish tank battle" so I ran a Mittlere Panzerkompanie from Hellfire & Back (ironically running my winterized Panzers!) and Steve used a Heavy Tankovy Battalion from Rising Sun. The game was brutally fast, so I'll keep the report so as well!

Off the top of my head, Steve ran an HQ upgunned T-28, two T-28 companies (each with 4 upgunned tanks), a BT assault gun platoon with 6 tanks, and a full sapper company. His force was rated Confident Conscript. I ran two HQ Pz IVDs, a platoon of two Pz IVDs, a platoon of four Pz IIIGs, a Sd Kfz 221/222 patrol, and a 2/3 pioneer platoon. My force was rated Confident Veteran.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Beyond the Elbe (a lot) to Hungary! --- an AAR

Like Andrew, Wayne was looking to get a test game in with his BattleCry Hungarian assault gun list so we scheduled a game for mid-week after work. As I mentioned earlier, BattleCry was 1575 points, Late War. Wayne loves his Hungarians and he had a very good list. So good in fact, it made want to build it!

I grabbed my good 'ol American Shermans from Blood Guts and Glory. After playing the Panzer Brigade against Andrew, I felt I needed to get back to basics and play some US tanks. I'm partial to the Veteran ones, so I've been tinkering with lists and tactics to get these expensive Shermans to work on the battlefield.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Panzer Brigade "Finland" an AAR

Last week I got to play a game with my brother. He wanted to test out his army list for the forthcoming Flames Of War tournament at the BattleCry 2014 event. It's a 1575 Late-war event, and he is bringing his Finnish army. Unfortunately BattleCry interferes with my family schedule, so I can't attend the event this year. However, if you are in Auckland on 15/16 February, you should drop in and check it out. It's a great event with lots on for gamers young and old!

Monday, January 27, 2014

DanCon 2014

Today I attended the greatest Flames Of War event held in the Southern Hemisphere. I speak, of course, of the illustrious DanCon 2014, hosted by the standup gents of TCOW (That Club Out West). The event was a three-game tournament (1250 points) with entirely random mission selection with some general guide lines. True to form, Dan, over at KingDan's Place, and the TCOW guys delivered an excellent easy-going event.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Big Plans for 2014

This is my first post of 2014, so a very belated Happy New Year to all! This year, I’ve got a crazy resolution lined up for 2014. I only have one because it breaks down into several sub- resolutions, each with a level of complexity. ...And its massive. It is this:
“I will play at least one game with each US Infantry Division involved in the Northern France campaign, June-August 1944.”
This breaks down into the following sub-resolutions: o Paint everything needed for these games (Approx 115 models/teams total) o Post a brief history of the engagement I’ll be playing (14 histories) o Post a battlereport for each game (14 battlereports) o Don’t get distracted (yeah right) Sourced from the Citizen Soldier PDF and Overlord, that’s 14 infantry divisions, for a total of 14 games. Easy, right?